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Speaking the same language: The effect of foreign origin teachers on students' language skills

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  • Höckel, Lisa Sofie

Abstract

This study investigates whether foreign origin teachers causally affect their students language skills in secondary school. Exploring within-student variation in assignment to teachers, I find that teachers who are immigrants or descendants of immigrants significantly increase the reading comprehension of students. The effect is strongest for foreign origin students and can partly be explained by a role model effect. The positive effect of bilingual foreign origin teachers is particularly large. They significantly increase reading comprehension for native and foreign origin students. Given their own experience in language learning, bilingual teachers seem exceptionally well-equipped in teaching languages to both native and foreign origin students.

Suggested Citation

  • Höckel, Lisa Sofie, 2020. "Speaking the same language: The effect of foreign origin teachers on students' language skills," Ruhr Economic Papers 862, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:862
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    Keywords

    academic achievement; education economics; language skills; matching; migration; role model effect; teacher bias effect;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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